Earlier this month, the Baltimore Business Journal published several articles highlighting its 2017 predictions for the greater Baltimore business community. Among them, one such article mentions Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman as an emerging leader and one to watch in 2017.
From the Baltimore Business Journal’s article:
Faces to Watch in 2017: Allan Kittleman, Howard County Executive
Why he’s one to watch: Allan Kittleman will oversee the creation of Columbia’s new downtown and the revival of Ellicott City’s flood-damaged historic district.
Allan Kittleman’s leadership was sorely tested in 2016.
A tornado touched down in Howard County in June. Then a deadly flood swept through Ellicott City on July 30, killing two people and damaging hundreds of buildings.
The Howard County Executive admits life has been a bit hectic.
“Since July 30, especially in those first six weeks, my life has completely revolved around Ellicott City,” he said.
Kittleman took the lead in a rebuilding effort that involves county, state and federal funds and initiatives. He has served as an official cheerleader and spokesman for the county, keeping the world abreast of the city’s slow rebuild.
Many businesses haven’t returned and fear they may never be able to open. Others have returned but still face many hurdles to attract the customers who used to frequent the historic streets.
“We certainly have a long way to go for Ellicott City,” Kittleman said in a recent interview.
But Kittleman, a Republican, said he’s encouraged by the cooperation he has seen between the various governments, agencies and political parties as the work continues.
“There were no egos,” said Kittleman, a former state senator. “There wasn’t that ‘I need to get credit for what I’m doing.’ ”
Kittleman said besides rebuilding, the focus in 2017 will be on how to prevent such flooding in the future. Though he admits it’s probably hard to protect against six inches of rain in two hours.
But it’s not all challenges ahead for Kittleman.
He’s presiding over a county that is in prime growth mode — with a $1 billion project to create an urban center for Columbia with apartments, office space and an overhaul of the Merriweather Post Pavilion as part of the plan.
Pearson PLC will join MedStar Health as anchor tenants in One and Two Merriweather, two Class A office buildings now under construction in the town center.
Then there’s the ongoing development at Maple Lawn, a high-end residential, office and retail center in what was once farmland.
“I’ve lived here all my life,” he said. “It’s just fun to see. I clearly have the best job in the world.”